Skora was forged out of need from founder David Sypniewski to provide a platform that would allow him to run again. After a devastating blown IT band and months of physical therapy and many pair of orthotics and new shoes, Sypniewski found that he couldn’t find a shoe that would get him back to running without pain.
Over the past twelve years, Skora has been refined into an efficient running shoe company that has remained focused on providing the natural feeling of running with the best technology. Skora has a group of ambassadors that have been running for years, providing feedback, from sprinters, athletes, long distance runners, and hobbyist. There are doctors, triathletes, adventurous, nutritionist, trail runners, marathon runners, high school runners, Iron men, and even normal people like you and me. Ambassador lead communities, offer unbiased opinions from their experiences, to help create a better product. The truth is that not everyone trains the same, some run for pleasure, some competitive, some for enjoyment, others for necessity. We at GearChase.com fall somewhere in between all of the previous users of Skora shoes, and the future runners in Skora shoes. These are our experience with Skora shoes, we hope our review and experience provided help you decide if Skora shoes are right for you.
Skora’s Three R’s of Running
With words like “Zero Drop” and “Toe Box” a lot has been changing in how running shoes have been traditionally made in the past. Skora has it’s own take on these ideas and it starts with the three “R”s of running.
Reconnecting our mind-body and focusing on keeping our feet closer to the ground as contact is made as a light landing. Listening to your feet and how they connect with the running surface effects our entire bodies.
Body position can greatly effect your running form. Maintaining upright posture, aligning head, hips and landing with your body under your feet instead of in front. Keeping knees slightly bend and avoiding outstanding landings and straight legs. This all leads to enabling the feet to more naturally absorb the impact and forces on the body.
Finding a good stride is part of maintaining good form. A good song with an up beat tempo can help with this. It’s suggested to try to stride around 180 foot strikes per minute. Shorter strides encourage full foot landings and allow the biometrics of the body to align more during strides.
Run Real is the mantra. Shoes are designed to move and flex naturally with the shape of the foot both laterally and horizontally. With a zero drop design and flex, anatomically correct, rounded outsole edges for natural movement you are invited to #LOVEYOURRUN.
Skora shoes are designed to be minimalistic, only including what is needed to ensure comfort and control of the foot. The outsole is unique in it’s rounded shape, and feels the ground more while maintaining a protective cushioning that leads itself to a wide variety of conditions, terrain, and trails. The balanced cushioning provides even pressure against foot on all terrains.
Another standout with SKORA is it’s asymmetrical lacing. It’s definitely the first thing we noticed when we were introduced to SKORA running shoes. From real tan goat leather for full weather protection. Shoes are lined with antimicrobial lining that provides odor resistance. They are applied with a full wrap of reflective material that glows when headlights hit them. Only premium materials and construction techniques are used in the manufacturing of the shoe. Other shoes are made with air mesh that provide a quality and comfortable fit. There is no sewing on the shoes. A special lamination gluing process is used to bond the upper materials and overlay without using any stitching. This is noticeable the first time you slip the shoes on. It provides a very natural flex pattern. Fewer seams and minimalistic glued seams means less hot spots, better flex, and a more breathable shoe.
Skora offers many different styles of shoes with more or less cushioning like the Tempo, to a true minimalist. There are the Phase, Fit, Form, Core, and of course the Tempo which we tested. The details of these shoes are outlined with a microfiber heel, and in-lined with an antimicrobial mesh lining. The cushioning is dynamic providing a platform for running on treadmills, trails and pavement.
The Skora Tempo is the most cushioned shoe currently in the Skora line up. With a zero drop and 22mm cushion it’s a well rounded shoe for everyday runners. Along with the other Skora shoes, it follows along in the great looking, and high quality.
The sole of the Tempo offers the most cushioning when compared to other Skora shoes like the Phase, Fit, or Core. The sole is a bit more stiff and rigid that the other minimal shoes. It offers a great platform that is a nice mix between a dense cushion and support for a “minimalist” shoe.
The sole is rounded to encourage better form and smoother running.
The rubber is very durable, I’ve put about 100 miles on the shoes and they are wearing very normally, if not a little better that expected.
Skora Mid sole
The mid sole offered a bit more stiffness that the out sole, and worked well providing a solid running platform.
One complaint we had with our flat wide feet is that the mid sole is fairly narrow for even an average foot in our opinion. With our wide, flat feet we had overhang on the inner mid sole.
One of our favorite features of the shoes is the uppers. They are extremely lightweight, flexible, incredibly breathable, and solid. Other reviews have stated that they have had problems with the color from the uppers fading onto their socks. We haven’t noticed this, but we also run with black socks a lot of the time, so we can not confirm or deny if the blue tempos bleeding color.
Another love of the Skora Tempo is the free moving wide toe box. It allows toes to breath, separate, balance more effectively. The toe box are not super huge like some of the other “large toe box” shoes on the market that resemble clown shoes a little too much.
There is a little protection on the big toe of the toe cap for the Tempo. The top of the toe cap is protected by a suede like material.
The eyelets were equally spaced and provided enough pull from the asymmetric lasing to snug the shoe without any problems. There is a secondary eyelet that can be used as a lace lock.
The collar of the Tempo would have to be the greatest downside to the shoe. It sits very high on the back of the ankle, and while it’s soft and slightly padded, it rubbed the back of our achilles raw. There are some solutions to this as we mentioned in this article.
It’s worth noting that there is no lining in the Skora tempo, in fact there are almost no seams in the entire shoe. This makes for an extremely comfortable, light, and breathable shoe.
We have always thought that Skora made some great looking shoes and were excited to try them out. We do not consider ourselves as anything more that an intermediate runner. So take our experience and comments as such. We ran about 100 miles during our review of the Skora Tempo.
Out of the box and on the foot, we first noticed the wide toe box during our first run. Next, we felt the air through our feet. The Tempo was extremely breathable, it was nice to feel the air moving across the top of our feet. On longer runs, keeping the feet cool seemed to help with the normal swelling of feet runs.
We also loved the asymmetrical lacing, it seemed to help the shoe move with the foot more. The laces are aligned with the flat part of the foot, instead of across a high and low part of the foot. This combined with the seamless tongue and uppers make it an extremely comfortable shoe. Be prepared for a dramatically different shoe. If you are use to running in traditional running shoes that have been around for years like. We have only recently been introduced to zero drop shoes, and have loved the change. The breathability vs our old New Balance, and Asics we were previously running in have been a welcomed change.
The Tempo didn’t come without some downsides. We noticed after our first few miles in the shoes that the back of our heel on our achilles the rear shoe collar was rubbing our skin raw. We thought there may need to be some break in period, so we continued to suffer through the blisters, blood and pain. Unfortunately, it never got any better. We contacted Skora and did some of our own research online reading other reviews. It seems like it’s a problem that has been reported by some users of the shoes. From what We can tell, the collar sits higher than most shoes. This could be because of the zero drop bringing the heel deeper into the shoe. We tried breaking in the heel collar more with some vaseline and deodorant as suggested by Skora. This helped a little. Additionally, we tried some thicker insoles that raised the heel (negating the zero drop in the shoe) but helping with the rubbing on the back of the heel. Others have walked around on the back of the shoe to stretch out the collar and found relief after this. This isn’t a complete deal breaker for the shoe, but one should be aware of the issue and possible solutions. Skora confirmed this is something they will be considering on their next design of the shoe.
Another downside was the narrow width. As previously mentioned the width of the shoe in the middle is narrow. With my wide flat feet, there was substantial overhang in the middle of the shoe. As awkward as this is, we didn’t have any discomfort with the shoes, or uneven wear, so we can’t fault the shoe too much for this.
It’s worth pointing out that with Skora return policy orders over $90 can be returned free of charge with the pre-paid return label. Orders under $90 can be returned with the same pre-paid shipping label but Skora will deduct $5 from the refund to cover shipping on the return. This takes all the worry out of buying the right size, or worried about how the shoes will fit. You have 30 days to return (as like new) items for a full refund, if the shoe shows too much wear, you may only receive in store credit. Included as peice of mind is a 1 year warranty on all shoes from manufacture malfunction.
After our research on Skora, and spending many miles in the Tempo, we can recommend the shoes as a great, super comfortable shoe from a great company. It has it’s issues with the heel collar and narrow widths for some people, but with the flexible return policy it’s worth trying on a pair to see if they work for you.